Young British people shop most on social media

At least one in four shoppers under 35 buys on social media in countries like the UK, France or the U.S.

Social media has become one of the most relevant marketing channels. Retailers use social media channels to engage and communicate with their potential clients and to create emotional bonds between their brands and their customers. Most retailers are already aware of the great potential social media holds in this respect – for 89%, social media strategies already play a fundamental role in their marketing activities or they are at least planning to engage in social media activities for marketing purposes in the near future, according to a eTail and Stackla survey. It is no surprise that retailers especially count on widespread social media platforms to engage with their customers: Instagram and Facebook are most frequently used for social media marketing activities by retailers. 92% respectively 77% of retailers connect with their clients via Instagram and Facebook. Shopify’s Future of Commerce 2021 report sheds light on the other end of the social media relation – the consumer – and finds out how intensively online shoppers engage with retailers on social media:

Not surprisingly, social media shopping is most popular among younger shoppers. Online shoppers between 18 and 34 are most likely to shop on social media, with the UK in the lead: 33% of online shoppers under 35 in the UK made at least one purchase via social media in the six months prior to the survey. In every country compared, the older the shopper, the less they are likely to purchase a product on social media. There are countries in which the gaps between age groups are less pronounced, though. Italy and the U.S. are good examples in this respect: Around one quarter of online shoppers in the age group 18 to 34 in both countries shop via social media, which is the largest percentage in an age group. Among online shoppers aged 55 and older, social media shopping is still relatively popular, though: 12% in both Italy and the U.S. made a purchase on social media in the six months prior to the survey. This is four times as high a percentage as in the same age group in Germany or Japan. The figures in general show that retailers are wise to increase their social media activities. The young age groups of today are the older age groups of tomorrow – or in other words, social media engagement is the marketing strategy of the future.

Note: The survey was carried out among 10,055 consumers aged 18 and older in 11 markets in APAC, Europe, and North America.

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February 2021